You would be beyond frustrated to have such an experience when speaking face-to-face with an advisor — or anyone trying to help you — yet for years, we have accepted such lack of personalization as par for the course online. Related: 3 Ways to Avoid Creepy Marketing Practices and Build Trust With Your Customers In the last couple years, though, a few forward-thinking companies have changed our digital expectations.

The mass adoption of services like Netflix and Spotify have created a new expectation in the mind of the consumer — one-to-one personalization. The technology that Netflix and Spotify are using to create truly personalized experiences is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) called machine learning.

The term “machine learning” sounds highly technical — and it certainly can be — but its applications can be highly valuable to marketers. While you don’t need to know all of its technical intricacies, it does help to have a general understanding of the concept.

To explain what machine learning is about as it relates to one-to-one personalization, let’s start with an approach that preceded it. It might help to more firmly establish how machine learning differs from other marketing strategies first.

The way that most marketers have delivered personalized experiences in the past is through rules and segmentation. Segments are created manually when a marketer decides to group customers, site visitors or app users by some predetermined criteria. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of